Konopka showed last year he can fend off the most in the NHL out of anyone with 33 fights. If he plays a little dirty and has the other team off their game then I think he is even more valuable. He's a pretty average 4th line guy.
We'll have Abdelkader next year who can fight, Ericcson and possibly a tough number 6 defenseman or Janik in the line up fairly often. That is a team that can handle itself.
You think when Konopka elbows Legwand in the head and puts him out for the game Belak & Tootoo are going to be offering Ericcson or Abdelkader a chance to stand up? No there going to take off Franzen's head and there isn't a single thing Abdelkader or Ericcson could do as they aren't even fighters. 2-3 fights a season doesn't make you a fighter even in this pansy league.
Who did Konopka fight last year to say he could fend for himself? A bunch of middleweights in a division that consisted of:
Washington: Matt Bradley
Florida: Greg Campbell
Atlanta: Eric Boulton
Carolina: Tim Conboy
yeah he sure needed to fend for himself in that tough division.
Now he comes into this division playing that way and there are players who are going to eat the weak ass Wings alive like Boll, Sestito, Eager, Burish, Tootoo, Crombeen and on and on who can play much dirtier then Konopka because they can actually skate good enough to injure players when they want.
Basically the Wings are getting by just fine having honest tough guys like May & Downey who aren't going to get there stick up or elbow up. The Wings have done a great job of not waking the sleeping bear in this division and Konopka will wake him and the Wings players will pay for it and I'm not talking about the 4th liners or 7th d-men. All the guys I mentioned hit much harder then Konopka and most of which could do a number on him with the gloves off at that.
Holland isn't dumb enough to try and sign a guy like Konopka, end of story we can argue this for the next 60 years but fact is Holland knows what he is doing and he isn't getting a dirty pest unless its a guy like Cooke who can play great hockey to go with starting s***. Regardless you need a tough guy to play with the pests, especially in a much more physical westcoast then TB would need in the weakest division in the league.
If he wants a tough grinder he is getting Asham not Konopka.
Edited by chrisyo, 22 June 2010 - 10:00 PM.